A Most Wanted Man For more than 50 years, John le Carré has been churning out best-sellers set in the dingy back alleys of espionage. His thankless, workaday spies… A Most Wanted Man For more than 50 years, John le Carré has been churning out best-sellers set in the dingy back alleys of espionage. His thankless, workaday spies… 2014-07-25 R PT121M Suspense Willem Dafoe Philip Seymour Hoffman Rachel McAdams Robin Wright Lionsgate Roadside Attractions
Movie Review

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

MPAA Rating: R
A MOST WANTED MAN Philip Seymour Hoffman
Image credit: Kerry Brown
A MOST WANTED MAN Philip Seymour Hoffman
EW's GRADE
B

Details Limited Release: Jul 25, 2014; Rated: R; Length: 121 Minutes; Genre: Suspense; With: Willem Dafoe, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright; Distributors: Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions

For more than 50 years, John le Carré has been churning out best-sellers set in the dingy back alleys of espionage. His thankless, workaday spies couldn't be further from the babes-and-baccarat glamour of James Bond. But while le Carré's cat-and-mouse page-turners are tough to put down, the movies made from them have been a mixed bag. Aside from 1965's The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and 1979's BBC miniseries Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, few have been great. The latest, Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man, is a bit too subdued to change that track record. But it also crackles with a jigsaw-puzzle intelligence and features a superbly subtle lead performance from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who single-handedly gooses the post-9/11 procedural through some of its slower patches.

Hoffman, in his last starring role (the Hunger Games sequels are still on tap), plays Gunther Bachmann, a chainsmoking, old-school German counterterrorism agent with a thick-as-spaetzle accent and a world-weary air of defeat. He's tracking a Chechen/Russian refugee (Grigoriy Dobrygin) who mysteriously pops up among Hamburg's Muslim community. What are the man's intentions? Answering that question leads Gunther into uneasy alliances with a menagerie of murky players (Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright). Because this is le Carré, we know that plenty of double and triple crosses await. It's just too bad they aren't driven by a quicker pulse. B

Originally posted Jul 16, 2014 Published in issue #1321-1322 Jul 25, 2014 Order article reprints
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Weekend of Nov 23 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
1. $123.0 1 $123.0 B-
2.
Big Hero 6
Walt Disney Pictures
$20.1 3 $135.7 B+
3.
Interstellar
Paramount
$15.1 3 $120.7 B-
4.
Dumb and Dumber To
Universal
$13.8 2 $57.5 C-
5.
Gone Girl
Fox
$2.8 8 $156.8 A
6.
Beyond the Lights
Relativity
$2.6 2 $10.1 B+
7.
St. Vincent
Weinstein Co.
$2.4 7 $36.6 B
8.
Fury
Sony
$1.9 6 $79.1 C+
9.
Birdman
Fox Searchlight
$1.9 6 $14.4 A-
10.
Nightcrawler
Open Road
$1.2 4 $27.2 B+
* in millions

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